Well I guess it had to come eventually, and they going after two of the big names too. Here's a link to UP's press release:
"Union Pacific defends trademarks
Union Pacific Railroad Company has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska naming as defendants Lionel, L.L.C. and Athearn, Inc. The defendants are model railroad manufacturers who have refused to enter into licensing agreements for their commercial use of Union Pacific trademarks. The complaint alleges claims of infringement of federally registered trademarks, trademark dilution under § 43(c) of the Lanham Act, Unfair Competition under § 43(a) of the Lanham Act, common law trademark infringement, unfair competition, and violation of the Nebraska Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Union Pacific believes it is imperative that it defends its trademarks against unauthorized use by Lionel and Athearn. Both companies repeatedly have rejected Union Pacific's lawful licensing requests.
Not only have Lionel and Athearn failed to license use of Union Pacific's historic trademarks, they have violated trademark protection laws by producing new models featuring Union Pacific's latest "Building America" branding and advertising campaign.
Union Pacific notes that Lionel has a very active licensing program that protects its own trademark. It is difficult to understand why Lionel and Athearn believe they are above the law, while more than 60 other manufacturers, including many model railroad manufacturers, have licensed their Union Pacific products in accordance with the law."
I like the part about Lionel protecting their trademark - it only seems to work one way I guess!
Bob Boudreau Canada